Today I’m continuing with the talented and fascinating Killarney Sheffield. The picture to the right is one of her happy and healthy horses. To the left, her latest novel, The Emperor’s Concubine, a post-apocalyptic romance. Below is her life story, told in her own words.
Just Who Is Killarney Sheffield Anyway?
This month my publisher has asked us authors to introduce ourselves. So the question being asked and answered here is, just who is Killarney Sheffield anyway? Well folks, that is a many layered question! Who I am, vs who I think I am, and who others perceive me to be, are very different things sometimes.
I am a former foster kid who always had a deep love for just three things in life, my beloved Granny Key who died when I was sixteen, horses and writing. After years of sexual, physical and mental abuse I was put into foster care at age thirteen. For me it was a terrifying experience, but there were two things I could count on, horses and writing. The horses were and still are my best friends. I didn’t have friends in school. I was bullied, teased, picked on and beat up regularly. School was torture! Not only was it not a safe place for me, but being an undiagnosed dyslexic at that time made math and spelling seem like hiking up Mount Everest. My school days were spent hiding out in the library, or music room and then running off to the safety of the barn when the bell rang at three o’clock. The horses were always there for me. It didn’t matter if I was sitting on a bale of hay telling them about my day, caring for them, or crying with my arms wrapped around their necks, they always listened and to me it seemed as if they understood. The horses taught me unconditional love, patience, understanding and confidence. Writing gave me an outlet, a way to voice what was inside in a way that didn’t get me beat up, or made fun of.
Now that I am an adult with growing kids and young adults of my own, the things horses taught me and the solace they gave me are who I am. I speak in woman’s groups, am a spokesperson for the importance of foster care in Canada, and both breed and rescue horses. My favorite colors are burgundy and emerald green. I love chocolate and ice cream, any kind… did I mention ice cream… and ice cream! I am a three glasses of wine and I’ll do my best impression of Elmer Fudd hunting rabbits, gal. I am a ‘it can always be improved’, gal. And of course I am a ‘stay in my PJs all day if I want to’, gal.
What kind of person am I? I am a person who tries to see life with humour, the glass half full and the good in people. I am a person who feels deeply, cries over the Christian Children’s Fund commercials and the news stories about hurt, missing and killed children on T.V. I am the crazy horse person who spends $800 to bring an abused American horse to Canada after hearing her sad story of being hung by the neck and then left in a field for two years with a broken knee. I am also the same person who stands in the corner of her stall crying my eyes out because she is too afraid to come take a treat from my hand. The person just dying to wrap my arms around her neck and make her know it is going to be all right. I am also the type of person to get angry when I’m hurt by a careless word from my kids, or the senseless act done to someone else, or animal to hurt them. I am the person to whom something as simple as a compliment can make my whole day wonderful, no matter how bad it is. Last, but not least, I am an author who wants to write books people love, give them realistic heroines they can feel for and relate to, and heroes they can’t help but fall in love with. Why? Maybe it is because of all I went through as a child, or perhaps it is because I am a Libra and by definition am a hopeless romantic who thinks life should be fair. Either way, that is who I am.